Oba of Benin honours former FIRS boss, Omogui-Okauru

The immediate past Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ifueko Omoigui- Okauru, will be decorated with royal beads as she receives the traditional blessings from the Benin monarch, Erediauwa Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo.

The traditional recognition is the highest honour the Oba of Benin usually bestows on achieving women in the Edo Kingdom.

Mrs. Okauru, who ended her meritorious services after two terms between May 2004 and April 9, 2012, was instrumental to the transformation of the revenue agency, which has become a cash cow for the Federation Account after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The former Chairman, who also chaired the Joint Tax Board during her eight years of service, promoted the empowerment of states’ Inland Revenue services in revenue collections as opposed to the use of revenue consultants.

The Oba of Benin had on Saturday, May 12, 2012 sent emissaries to the families of Omoigui and Okauru, the former FIRS boss’ family and her husband’s family respectively, to inform them of his intention to bequeath royal beads to their daughter on Friday in Benin City in recognition of her services to the nation.

Expected at the conferment ceremonies are some dignitaries from across the country, including the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, traditional rulers and chiefs, notable dignitaries from the public and private sector.

During her tenure at FIRS, Mrs. Omoigui-Okauru was instrumental to the development of a Vision 2020:20 plan for the Nigerian Tax System as well as the development of a harmonised tax reform agenda in October 2004.

Other achievements included the approval and launching of the National tax policy by the Executive Council of the Federation (FEC) and the National Economic Council (NEC); strengthening of the tax policy function of the FIRS, enabling the FIRS to play a leading role along with the Federal Ministry of Finance in developing and implementing tax policies at the Federal level.

Her tenure also saw to the approval and gazetting of tax regulations aimed at entrenching a self-assessment regime, clarifying companies eligible for tax deductible donations, development of regulations on transfer pricing; the introduction of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), on-going review of all tax laws, including drafting of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in collaboration with other stakeholders.

She was also instrumental to the redrafting of the Value Added Tax Act, development of a Consolidated Income Tax Act and the drafting of a comprehensive Tax Administration Code; the review of Capital Gains Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act, improved Funding of the Service, creation of one stop integrated tax offices, increased focus on taxpayer market segments.

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